Zindzi will remain ambassador to Denmark for now

Zindzi Mandela
Zindzi Mandela

Zindzi Mandela’s term as ambassador to Denmark would have finished at the end last month, but has been extended until the end of the year to give President Cyril Ramaphosa more time to decide what to do with ambassadors across the world whose terms have expired.

Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the department of international relations and cooperation, said: “All terms that would have concluded at the end of June have been extended until the end of December because there was no time to give attention to the matter in the preceding months as a result of the elections.”

Mandela, who became the ambassador to Denmark in June 2015, was hauled over the coals by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor after she posted a series of tweets a few weeks ago in which she called white South Africans “shivering land thieves” and “thieving rapist descendants of Van Riebeck [sic]”.

On Thursday and Friday, Mandela again fired off tweets that may be considered to be questionable. She was especially scathing of tweets that pointed out the reconciliatory role that her father played.

“You, with your Jesus complex, please get off the cross and come to me directly instead of sending your apostles!” was her reaction to one of these tweets.

Commentator Max du Preez challenged her: “Do the honourable thing, ambassador. Come home and put on a red overall [in reference to EFF colours] – you can have it tailor made.”

Mandela hit back: “Have I touched you on your studio baas?”

Mandela makes no secret of the fact that she aligns herself with the EFF. She often retweets messages from the opposition party. In one tweet, she said she was trying to bring Julius Malema to Copenhagen on the invitation of a company that wants to host a South African expo in the Danish capital city.

Referring to a tweeted tirade against the media by Malema, she posted that a truth and reconciliation commission for the media was long overdue.

“We know who you are yet we welcome fair processes,” she tweeted.

City Press’ sister publication Rapport asked Monyela if Pandor knew about the latest tweets and if she had any reaction to them, but Monyela had not responded to this at the time of going to press.

In the meantime, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has still not commented on Mandela’s tweets. After Zindzi’s initial tirade on June 14, Luzuko Koti, the foundation’s communications manager, told Rapport that they wanted to meet with Mandela about her tweets.

However, a few days later, Koti denied that the foundation had said this.

It was only when Rapport released a recording of Koti saying that the foundation wanted to meet with Mandela that Lee Davies, the foundation’s spokesperson, admitted they did want to meet with her, but they regretted that it could appear that they wanted to have Mandela come in from Denmark for the meeting.

According to Davies, the public discourse around Mandela’s tweets has again highlighted the “obstinacy of white supremacy, the wounds of the past that have not yet healed, the stalled land reform plan and the greater failure of transformation in the post-apartheid era”.


What do you make of Zindzi Mandela’s outspoken tweets and her refusal to back down?

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